Gold Rush Shipwreck: Photos of a Real-Life Underwater Treasure Hunt

Sunken Treasure

Sinking SS Central America

(Image credit: Courtesy of J. Childs, Philadelphia)

In 1857, a steamship loaded with 30,000 pounds of gold sunk off the coast of South Carolina. Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc., a company that specializes in deep-ocean exploration, is attempting to retrieve the sunken treasure from the so-called SS Central America (pictured here in a contemporary depiction of the ship's sinking).

Here are some photos of the expedition to retrieve sunken gold from the famous shipwreck.

Lost and Found

Gold Bars from SS Central America

(Image credit: Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc.)

The gold bars recovered in April 2014 during Odyssey Marine Exploration’s first reconnaissance dive to the SS Central America shipwreck were stamped with various assayer’s marks.

Gold Coin

Gold Coins from SS Central America

(Image credit: Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc)

One of the two $20 Double Eagle coins recovered in April 2014 during Odyssey’s first reconnaissance dive to the SS Central America shipwreck site.

On the Water

SS Central America

(Image credit: Courtesy of Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, October 3, 1857)

A depiction of the SS Central America.

Gold Rush

Gold Bars From SS Central America Shipwreck

Odyssey Marine Exploration recovered five gold bars from the SS Central America shipwreck on April 15, 2014.

Robotic Explorer

Odyssey ROV Zeus

(Image credit: Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc.)

By using advance robotics to explore deep-ocean sites, the Odyssey crew is able to work around the clock with limitless bottom time. Above, Odyssey's remotely operated vehicle (ROV) ZEUS returns to the surface following work on a deep-ocean shipwreck site.

Exploring the Ocean

Odyssey Explorer Ship

(Image credit: Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc)

The Odyssey Explorer serves as Odyssey's principal state-of-the-art deep-ocean archaeological platform.

Deploying Zeus

Remotely Operated Vehicle - Zeus

(Image credit: Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc)

Odyssey's eight-ton Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) ZEUS is launched from the ship's deck. The ROV descends to the ocean floor to conduct work on a deep-ocean shipwreck sites while operation is directed by the archaeologist and project manager aboard the Odyssey Explorer.